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I Know Huh X Wayneandwax X Postopolis!

Above, Rapper 2Phase on the mic (center), at a January 2010, rap event near Centro.  It was a 7 hour rap show in a hall connected to Cría Cuervos, a punk/goth space. Pictured is the entire concert stage, the bar was off to the right.

For my presentation today, I invited 2Phase and Yoez. More about them during our chat, but I wanted to give a little background on why I chose these two, of the literally hundreds of rappers trying to get their voices heard in D.F.

2Phase was one of the first rappers I saw perform when I got here in the winter of 2008  (Listen to some tracks from his 1st album, here and here.). He was performing in another punk space, El Under, in Colonia Roma. The reason why I picked him is because, first, he speaks English. And, two, he´s not only a rapper, but a producer for Revolver Productions. I felt that he could talk about, not only the rap scene, but also the technical aspects of production and getting product and merch out to the masses.

Yoez is a rapper I heard a lot about, because she was a member of D.F.´s  first all-girl rap group Rimas Femininas. I researched this group for a story that appeared in Latina magazine, but I never got a chance to talk to Yoez. Her work is personal and she´s got a stage presence that can´t be ignored. I´ve seen her destroy crowds at Foro Alicia, usually over some heavy West Coast beat.

*Super shouts to Wayne Marshall for inviting me as a guest.

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Essence of hip-hop en Estadio Azteca

In many parts of the modern world, graffiti is vilified. Here in Mexico, it´s a respected art form. Often encouraged.

From the renowned muralist culture, to even farther back to its ancient civilizations, communicating through art on walls has always been the way here.

Today, with the support of a paint company and local government agencies, what is essentially a free hip-hop festival will take over Mexico´s  main soccer stadium. A place were people go to worship futbol, for the 3rd year in a row, becomes a place for hip-hop´s faithful.

I went in 2009, and the event was regarded as too commercial by many graf heads. But, it´s one of the rare times in this megalopolis that lovers of rap music get a free open-air concert. ¨Wild Style¨ incarnate, here in Mexico City.

Below, Jezzy P , a rapper from Ecatepec who just dropped a new album     (she´s been putting years of work into her music) will be a featured rapper on Saturday afternoon. About two dozen rappers will perform over the weekend, while graf artists are competing on the walls of the stadium.

It´ll be like a day in the Bronx circa 1979.

Check out the list of scheduled rap performances on Jezzy´s blog.

In addition to Jezzy, highlights include performances by 2Phase,  Skool 77, Ana MC, Van T, T-Killa and Manicomio Clan, also check for ongoing cyphers in the parking lot.

The 3er. Concurso de Graffiti en tu Estadio Azteca 2010, co-sponsored by the Secretary of Public Security, takes place  April 17 and 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mexico City´s Azteca Stadium.

A Night With El Pinche Brujo

When I first heard El Pincho Brujo in his video for ¨Guadalajobru¨, an ode to his state´s top ranked soccer team and hip-hop lifestyle in Guadalajara, I thought I was hearing something special.

I didn´t realize regional Mexican rap had such a strong representative outside D.F. This guy, who came out of the Jalisco graffiti scene, hustles. ¨Brujo¨by the way, is the masculine for ¨witch,¨ and ¨pinche¨ as it´s used in most parts of Mexico, means either ¨damn¨, or  the adjectival ¨fucking¨.

On a Saturday night late last month Brujo showcased his skills. No DJ. Just him, a beer, and roomful of teenagers and curious hip-hop fans. He even took shout outs for rugged spots like Chalco and Iztapalapa.

He prowled the stage in mock drunkenness.  Hitting his rapped punch lines with a nasally flow ala B-Real, but with more bass in his voice. A few times he mentioned the drug cartel devastated Ciudad Juarez. But only got as deep as saying, ¨Man….Juarez.¨ Of course what more could he say?

On a sidenote: El Universal, earlier this year, did a good video report on hip-hop in Juarez. (via Red Barrio)

I´ve been told by one Monterrey performer that drug gangs are known to ¨tax¨ performers sometimes for their show money. It´s rare to hear the type of drug trade braggadocio here that litters U.S. rap.

Nedman Guerrero performed about an hour before Brujo´s midnite set.  One of Mexico City´s more practiced MCs, his style is strictly based in the old school New York-flavored street rap. Learn more about him in this interview (in Spanish) with the Grita Rap blog.

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Rapping on Mexico’s AM Dial

I have no idea who the gentleman in the picture is. But I see him at just about every hip-hop event in Mexico City. If someone reading this post knows this cat, please let me know via email. Actually, I should just approach him and ask him about why he supports his local hip-hop so hard. Pause.

I imagine that like me, he might tune his radio to Trackzion tonight.
Anyone who knows me knows of my love for underground hip-hop radio. I was scanning the AM dial one Monday night a while back when I found Radio UNAM‘s hip-hop show Trackzion.

It was a mighty surprise and one I’m glad Mexico City AM radio gave me. The show is hosted by Asgard with help from Sweet P, and on the blogging end, Urban Samurai.

What I like about the show is that it isn’t stuck on an only-what’s-new format. You can find some classic records (they once played a full-length Pete Rock DJ spot from WBLS in ’89) as well as the newer stuff coming off of zshare links everywhere.

And they know what’s going on — in both the hip-hop and urban arts world, without the backpacker snobby-ness.

Their shows include some guest interviews, and as much hip-hop and whatever else if floating their boat, from Groove Armada to Dam-Funk, as you can pile into a one-hour show.

They tend to lean heavily on Stonesthrow artists as well the healthy underground from NYC. But that’s just for right now, the crew has been blogging since October and only since last month have they had a regular time slot on Radio UNAM.

As far as Spanish rap goes, this show has discriminating tastes. You’ll hear fewer acts from Mexico, though they did have an on-air interview with Dr. Destino and they will occasionally play songs by other Mexico rap acts like Menuda Coincidencia from Monterrey.

Most Spanish-language rap fans in the post-post Cypress Hill era look toward Spain (Seville, Madrid, Barcelona, et al.) for their hip-hop much in the same way English-language rap fans (the globe, right?) will look to NY or LA before listening to rap from Canada Drake. The show reflects this Spain-ish focus, with some attention payed to the occasional Chilean act. Check their archived playlists on their blog.

Here’s a quick, and by no means complete, list of rap acts from Spain:
Falsa Alarma
Tremendo
El Puto Coke
Shotta

Listen to Trackzion, on Radio UNAM. Every Monday night, 10PM (CST), on 860 AM Mexico City, or online .
Also, check out DJ Azteck 732’s Radio Kotos Chidos on AM station Interferencia 7Diez. You can listen, here, every Friday from 3pm to 5pm, AM 710 Mexico City.

update: For anyone interested in Azteck 732, one of Mexico City’s 1st generation hip-hop DJs, check out his Valentine’s Day love mix from a few weeks ago. You can dl it or listen online (via )

Cuernavaca Flow Of Eva.Eme


EVA.EME: Not a backpack-underground-rapper. She reps Cuernavaca.

I didn’t want to edit this video too much, I wanted you to see the off-the-cuff Eva.Eme (pronounced Eva Punto Eme).

In Mexico, these days, it seems like everyone raps.
Over the summer I had a chance to meet 21-year-old MC Eva.Eme in her home town of Cuernavaca, Morelos. That of course is a written rhyme in the video above, but what I’m impressed with more about her is her love for the music and its energy. She sacrifices a lot, and given shady biz in the industry, people who rap on stage almost always do it for the love and not the bread, because you just don’t cake like that. Check out her group.

At this point in her career, she’s working a day job, trying to play clubs on weekends, and to my surprise has to suffer abuse from her mother just to go rock a mic. Eva showed me a scar on her wrist from her mother wilding out on her for coming home too late after a show. Drama. But that’s the life of an early 20s Mexican girl/rapper.
I’ll have a more thorough profile written for you later. I just wanted to get this video online for people to see. And yes, fans, hip-hop is alive and well in Mexico…but like anything, it needs a little work. If Eva keeps working on her bars, no telling where she might take her rhyming skills.

Listen to Eva:

Go here, and scroll down to stream 2 tracks by Eva.Eme.

Factor Disfuncional

R.A.P. (Ft. LOSTDREAMER)

Courtesy: SocSub.org

Just Getting Started


In 2005, a Mexican hip-hop documentary produced by Canal 22 premiered, and to the best of my knowledge, it´s the best visual document yet of hip-hop culture in Mexico City. It feels a little dated. Big Metra, goes by Bigger B or something like that. Big Metra won this year´s DJ Concept award for best MC. I was always impressed he got Jada on a track.

My only problem with this is the use of Maldita Vecindad´s Rocco as the narrator. While Rocco is by no means lacking in any hip-hop cred, his Cyber Pachukote, raga-styled music isn´t quite purist hip-hop like I know a lot chavitos like their music. Rocco is still dope at the end of the day, and he reps hard for the indigenous people´s all over Latin America. My kind of dude.

I´d found this doc on youtube months ago, but the good folks at Cabezas under. compiled the whole flick in one post. Enjoy.